incremental improvements

A brief discussion of incremental improvements   Image Quality. Us photographers are just obsessed with IQ. I admit to pixel peeping at 400% on a 24-inch monitor. I am sure that you have done it before, admit it. I started my journey with a 35mm camera and the skills to process my own negatives and prints. Ever since that time, I have been trying to squeeze the most from my modest collection of cameras and lenses. I have seen the transformation that digital has brought to our industry. And, the thing that most people forget is it is all based on incremental improvements.  I can look back at images that I shot a year ago, and I usually think they are still pretty good – images that I am still proud off…. If I start going further back in my catalog… well, then things start to change. I look back at older portfolios and think to myself.” What the hell was I thinking!” Most of it is just terrible. I realize that these little incremental improvements, that we can’t even see as we grow in our art from are the reason. There have been very few “ Aha Moments” for me. One of them understood the relationship between aperture/shutter speed/iso. Almost everything else that I have learned was a slow and continual learning, I would learn a new technique that would build on the techniques that I knew already. Followed by, practice to generate the muscle memory that gives me the ability to operate the camera without even thinking about it. I tend to operate in “clicks” rather than stops....

The Value of Marketing

I have touched on some of this before, but lets get a little deeper, shall we? When I started my photography business I thought it would be like “Field of Dreams”, If i built it and had great imagery, people would hire me.However, life never seems to be like the movies. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that great imagery is not important. It is. It is the cost of admission. The bare minimum that you need to start considering a business in photography.This is one of the things that really caused me problems early on. I am not a graphic designer, I am not an accountant.  I am not a marketing guru. I am a simple photographer. The only thing that really interests me is making images ( and sometimes talking gear, i am a little bit of a nerd). I stated my business with no real *business* experience to speak of. I thought marketing was having a website, and putting some ads in the phone book and newspaper. Build it and they will come. HA. I started off doing a little commercial work here and there for people that I knew. After a few years, I ended up booking my first wedding. I found out early on, that paid advertisements were worthless for me. I spent more than a thousand dollars one year to be featured on the Knot, and while I did get web traffic to my website, I could not point to one single person who booked me by finding me there. I could have spent that money on some new L glass from canon! Advertising...

Cost of Admission. Thoughts of Turning Photography into a Business.

I hear something like this almost every time I talk to someone interested in photography: I’m looking to shadow a wedding photographer to get some insight to the beast that is wedding photography. I’m still an amateur and would really like to learn more about wedding photography. 1.) Wedding photography is really no different than any other photography, all the rules/guidelines still apply. What scares people is that a wedding photographer has to be good at everything, you will do product shots (rings, flowers, other important item to the couple) food photography, landscape photography, Architectural photography, you will have to do formal portraits, candid portraits, and some photojournalist work, all in one day on a crazy timeline, dealing with people who are emotionally…. unpredictable. Someone once told me, that the amateurs practice till they get the shot right, pros practice till they can’t get it wrong. If you want to work in the wedding field you need to master (or at least be very, very good) at all the genres of photography, because you will have to make images from just about every genre quickly and usually in poor lighting. 2.) Either you have the passion for the photography or you don’t (by the question raised I assume that you do. ) but the photography is just the cost of admission. Take the time to learn the business side, that is far, far more important. You will spend more of your time doing business, taxes, sales, networking, and other stuff than you will spend doing photography. Trust me on this. The business side is far less glamorous but this part of it...